The long wait appears to finally be over, and both iGaming and sports betting could be heading to the state of Connecticut soon.
The Mohegan Indians and Governor Ned Lamont announced a new gaming compact agreement that could pave the way for both industries to launch.
The only problem with this announcement was that it did not include any sort of agreement between Lamont and the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe. This was supposed to be an agreement between all three sides, but Lamont and the Mohegans went ahead and reached a deal on their own.
Lamont has included revenue from both iGaming and sports betting in his 2022 fiscal year budget projection, and the state needed to get a deal done. Sports betting could launch in a matter of weeks, but only if the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe is able to get in on the deal as well.
Not only was an announcement made signaling the agreement between the two sides, but some of the key details of the compact were revealed. Sports betting revenue is set to be taxed at a rate of 13.75%, and online casino gaming will be hit with a 20% tax.
Even though this gaming compact is with the Native American tribes, the Connecticut Lottery and Sportech are also able to get in on sports betting. Under this agreement, the Connecticut Lottery can offer sports betting at 15 different retail locations, and Sportech will be able to take bets at its off-track betting establishment.
There will be one online sports betting skin available through the Connecticut Lottery, but it’s unclear what company will be receiving that license. Kambi reached an agreement with the Mohegan Tribe more than two years ago, and it will run the sportsbook at that location. The tribe is the owner of the popular Mohegan Casino which is also available in NJ online & mobile.
This is the first major step to launching both gaming options in the state, but there is still one more major piece of the puzzle that needs to be solved. There is only a handful of US States where online casinos are available, including New Jersey, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and more recently, Michigan. Having another state where only casino games are available would be another step in the right direction.
Mashantucket Pequot Tribe Not Happy
Even though the agreement of a new gaming compact should be a reason to celebrate in Connecticut, it has actually created quite the controversy. The Mashantucket Pequot Tribe released a statement earlier this week criticizing Lamont for announcing the private details of compact negotiations.
The Mashantucket Pequot also has to agree to a new gaming compact before iGaming and sports betting can be offered, which might complicate that process. Governor Lamont appeared to extend a peace offering with a public statement, but things are tense between the two sides.
It is clear that Lamont was looking to put some pressure on the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe to reach a quick agreement, but that tribe is not willing to cave in. This has also created a rift amongst lawmakers in the state, which could threaten the deal with the Mohegan Tribe.
A group of lawmakers from Eastern Connecticut submitted a letter to the governor urging him to get a deal done with the Mashantucket Pequot by Sunday. According to that letter, they are unwilling to support the agreement as is and are waiting for more details to be revealed.